America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 37

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with about 80,000 permits now held in
Wayne County alone. And Detroit is
leading the state in justifiable homicide.
The fbi estimated 15 justifiable
homicides in Detroit for all of 2012, but
nearly a dozen have been recorded in
the first quarter of 2014. (The numbers
should be taken with a grain of salt; the
same records show only five defensive
shootings in 2008 for Detroit, which
then-chief Ralph Godbee disputed,
saying their department recorded 35.)
According to MichiganLive, Detroit
accounted for 81 percent of the state's
212 justifiable homicides from 2000
to 2010. (Of note, law enforcement
accounted for only 44 percent of
statewide justifiable homicides.) The
publication further stated many more
shootings are left out because of
improper reporting. And, of course,
the numbers don't reflect instances of
armed self-defense where the criminal is
not killed.
Many incredible stories of
armed defense are cropping
up all over Detroit already
this year:
* In February, a woman returning
home was ambushed in her garage by
an armed robber. Dropping her keys to
distract the man, she drew her .38-cal.
handgun and fired several shots to end
the threat to her life.
* The same month, a brazen daytime
intrusion was thwarted when the
homeowner heard the sound of glass
breaking and retrieved a firearm in time
to fire two shots at the intruders.
* Armed with a tire iron, two
intruders broke into a southwest
Detroit home, only to be shot by
the homeowner.
* A woman in her 50s warned
another daytime invader to get
out before firing her handgun in
self-defense.
* And in April, a retired Detroit
nurse armed herself with a handgun
before intervening in a gang-style
beating of a man who had stopped to
help a boy he accidentally hit with his
car when the youngster darted across
the street in front of him.
Earlier this year, James Craig,

Detroit's new police chief, commented
to the media that criminals would
think twice about attacking if more
responsible citizens were armed.
"We're not advocating violence,"
Craig said. "We're advocates of not
being victims. We're advocates of
self-protection. We want people to
be safe."
Of course, many in the media and
other gun-ban proponents cried foul.
Yet average citizens in harm's way seem
to have taken the advice to heart, as
illustrated by the numerous instances of
armed self-defense the past few months.
"It does appear more and more
Detroiters are becoming empowered,"
Craig told reporters during a recent
press conference. "More and more
Detroiters are getting sick of the
violence. I know of no other place
where I've seen this number of
justifiable homicides."

violence, which has been indicated by it
being referred to as the murder capital,
the most violent city in America. Then
as I began to look at the number of cpl
[Concealed Pistol License] holders here
in Detroit, it was very different than
when I grew up here and even started
my policing career in 1977. [Now] there
were a lot of cpl holders, a lot of good
Americans, good Detroiters that were
fed up with being victims. And they
responded. And they responded in such
a way to suspects in Detroit that was
somewhat unique. There were two things
I saw coming in the door that were
unique: It wasn't always uncommon
that suspects would be wearing body
armor during the commission of a crime,
and/or secondly suspects directing victims
to disrobe. And the reason for both was to
determine whether or not the victim was
armed. I found it odd, having worked in
other large cities where I didn't see it, not
at this level of frequency.
And so, of late as you know, there've

"We're advocates of self-protection.
We want people to be safe."
America's 1st Freedom recently caught
up with Craig to find out more about his
perspective on curbing violent crime.
a1f: Your comments supporting
citizen self-defense have generated a lot
of controversy. Did you expect them to
create this big of a stir?
Craig: You know, I really didn't,
because it's a Second Amendmentprotected right. Certainly going to
Maine and having served as police
chief in Portland for a couple of years,
I remember vividly the state having a
motto saying, "The way life should be."
The thing I remember most: It was a
good life, a safe city. There were a lot
of ccw [Concealed Carry Weapon]
holders. And so I had to believe that
played a role in deterring violence.
Fast forwarding to Detroit, I've
oftentimes pointed out that Detroit
has what I've described as a culture of

been a number of incidents involving
armed citizens responding to an
immediate threat to their life or what
they believe to be a threat to the life of
someone else. What I have said, and
continue to say, is I believe responsible,
good Americans have a right to protect
themselves from an immediate threat to
their life or to the life of another.
a1f: There have been a number of
self-defense shootings making the news
lately. Is this an increase in armed defense,
or is the media just now noticing?
Craig: I thought maybe it would
have been a statistical spike seeing that
I've only been the police chief here for
nine months. That seemed odd for
me-I haven't seen that high a number
of self-defense shootings anywhere I've
worked before. And as it turned out,
we're only up by one shooting this year
compared to last year. So this trend
Continued on page 61

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America's First Freedom - June 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of America's First Freedom - June 2014

America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 1
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 2
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 3
America's First Freedom - June 2014 - 4
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